BY EMEKA AGINAM
After about one incredible week of innovative showcase by 125 talented technology students from 34 countries around the world at the just concluded Microsoft Imagine Cup 2014 finals held in Seattle, Washington, the United States of America, Team Eyenaemia of Australia in the World Citizenship Competition emerged as the overall winner of the 2014 Imagine Cup.
Imagine Cup, is the Microsoft’s premier competition for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the globe and a cornerstone of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative.
However, first place team was chosen in each of the three competition categories: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship.
Unfolding plans to expand program to empower more student innovators, the winners were announced yesterday, (Friday) at the Imagine Cup World Championship ceremony during Microsoft’s TechReady conference at the Washington State Convention Center, in front of an audience of 5,000 students, judges, partners and Microsoft employees.
The ceremony was the culmination of a week long event that celebrated the power of student innovation.
Imagine Cup World Champion:
By wining the world Champions in the World Citizenship category, Team Eyenaemia, from Australia will take Imagine Cup trophy and will have private meeting with Bill Gates and technology advisor.
First Place: $50,000 prize and PAX Boot Camp: Team Brainy Studio, Russia, Project: TurnOn
Second Place: $10,000 prize: Team Bomon, Korea, Project: Under Bed
Third Place: $5,000 prize: Team Illogic, Egypt, Project: Puppy in Bubble
First Place: $50,000 prize and Microsoft Ventures Boot Camp: Team Estimeet, New Zealand, Project: Estimeet
Second Place: $10,000 prize: Team Tep, Hungary, Project: Tep
Third Place: $5,000 prize: Team Butterfly, Bahrain, Project: Nail Polish Mixer
World Citizenship Category:
First Place: $50,000 prize and Microsoft YouthSpark Boot Camp: Team Eyenaemia, Australia, Project: Eyenaemia
Second Place: $10,000 prize: Team SMART crew, Taiwan, Project: Versatility of Usens: From Lab to Life
Third Place: $5,000 prize: Team Access Earth, Ireland, Project: Access Earth
Representing Nigeria is Team High Rise from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Osun State, showcasing software Nigeria to the world.
With good outing and showcase, representing Nigeria at the world stage is Team High Rise from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Osun State, showcasing software Nigeria to the world.
Although Team Nigeria did not win in any of the categories despite good outing and showcase, there are convincing signals that their innovative solution if deployed and embraced would address health challenges in Nigeria and the rest of the African sub-region.
With strong support from the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, members of Team High Rise including Adefioye Temidayo, Faleye Benjamin, Oyebisi Jemil and Ibraheem Bello had developed a solution, Catara which serves the purpose of drastically reducing the rate at which cataract causes total blindness.
To empower Team Nigeria for global competitiveness , it would be recalled that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) had supported Team Nigeria with digital tools such as Laptops, windows mobile devices as well as other incentives that enabled them showcase at the just concluded 2014 Microsoft Imagine Cup.
Meanwhile, Microsoft awarded cash and other prizes to the winning teams, valued at more than $1 million across the yearlong Imagine Cup program.
Other prizes included boot camps focused on career skills and project support, plus airfare and accommodation packages, and awards for the winning teams at the World Finals event this week.
Also announced was the expansion of the Imagine Cup program to make it available for even younger students worldwide who have the desire to create and code using Microsoft technology.
Through the Imagine Cup program, students are empowered to dream big, build creatively, learn through competition and boldly bring their ideas to life as they gain lifelong career skills throughout their journey.
Over the past 12 years the Imagine Cup has empowered more than 1.7 million students worldwide to do more and achieve more through technology.
“There is not a business, vertical industry or person on the planet untouched by technology,” Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella said, adding that , “Imagine Cup empowers students to hack tough problems, while learning and building off the work of others. Student developers play a huge role in bringing new technologies to life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Congratulations to all the competitors for their hard work and creativity.”
“Imagine Cup is about fostering new ideas and encouraging students to push the boundaries and imagine what’s possible now and in the future. Student developers play a huge role in helping to bring new technology innovations to life in ways that shape the way we work, live and play,” Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist, Microsoft, said.
According to him, “Going forward, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup program aims to empower even more students, at younger ages, with the technologies, skills and resources to build a lifelong passion for technology, helping to grow the next generation of innovators. We’re very proud of the Imagine Cup program and even more proud of our student competitors from all around the globe.
“New technologies are being created every day and at a rapid pace — many of them by student developers, which is why we’ve invested long term in the Imagine Cup program.
“The World Finalists who came to Seattle this year represent the best of student tech minds, and we are incredibly proud and inspired by all they have accomplished — we look forward to bringing them back to Seattle next year.”
In its 12th year, Microsoft Imagine Cup is the company’s premier technology program and competition providing opportunities for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs from all academic backgrounds to collaborate, develop a technology application, create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what is needed to bring a concept to market.
Imagine Cup is focused on providing students with the opportunities, resources and experience to become the brightest young minds worldwide. In addition to skills and training that launch incredible careers, students receive unparalleled hands-on experience, guidance and mentorship from industry luminaries, opening doors to a future as an entrepreneur, innovator and technologist.
Each of the first place winners in the competition’s three categories — Games, Innovation and World Citizenship — will receive a “boot camp” experience from Microsoft Ventures, Microsoft YouthSpark or PAX during which they will receive hands-on mentorship and project development support from Microsoft and industry experts.